Tennis Channel to Show Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Live

LOS ANGELES, July 15, 2021 — Tennis Channel will again be the exclusive home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Newport, R.I., live this Saturday, July 17, at 6 p.m. ET. This year’s celebration honors the classes of both 2020 and 2021, due to the cancellation of last year’s enshrinement during the worldwide pandemic. At the conclusion of the ceremony, fans will be able to relive the prestigious moments on-demand via streaming service Tennis Channel Plus.

Class of 2020 Two Wimbledon singles champions - Goran Ivanisevic (2001) and Conchita Martinez (1994) - represent the Hall of Fame’s class of 2020. Ivanisevic is the only man to win a Wimbledon singles title as a wild card. He also won singles and doubles bronze medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics and reached the World No. 2 singles ranking in 1994. Martinez also reached World No. 2 in the singles rankings and was a finalist at the Australian Open and French Open. She additionally helped Spain capture five Fed Cup championships.

Class of 2021 Tennis’ “Original 9,” the nine women who created the foundation for the current WTA Tour in 1970, are members of the Hall of Fame’s class of 2021. Peaches Bartkowicz, Rosie Casals, Julie Heldman, Billie Jean King, Kerry Melville Reid, Kristy Pigeon, Nancy Richey, Judy Tegart Dalton and Valerie Ziengenfuss each signed iconic $1 contracts and risked their rankings and the ability to compete in major events in an effort to bridge prize-money disparity between men’s and women’s tennis and build greater opportunities for female athletes down the road. Also in the class of 2021, Dennis Van der Meer was a revolutionary coach who standardized teaching methods and created the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) to certify tennis coaches. He was famously Billie Jean King’s coach in her landmark “Battle of the Sexes” match with Bobby Riggs. Van der Meer died in 2019.

“We remain honored by the privilege and responsibility that come with Tennis Channel being the annual home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,” said Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel. “The Hall of Fame, this iconic venue, museum and city of the first U.S. championships, have all made meaningful strides in recent years, while also fortifying this hallowed American grass-court tradition and maintaining the ambience of the entire event.” Every sports hall of fame is special, but tennis’ singular global hall is unique, because unlike team- and club-based sports, our players compete individually (or in pairs) throughout their careers. Thus enshrinement in ITHF represents the highest honor in the game, and is the ultimate guardian of player legacies. There’s nothing quite like it.”

Solomon spent nine years on the International Tennis Hall of Fame board of directors and continues to serve on the organization’s guidance committees.

Tennis Channel announcer Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) will resume his longtime role as master of ceremonies during the International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The network’s on-air team includes host Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman), Hall of Famer Pam Shriver (@PHShriver), and Tennis Channel global reporter and former player Prakash Amritraj (@PrakashAmritraj).

In May Tennis Channel won four Telly Awards for documentary work it produced in light of the 50th anniversary of the Original 9’s formation. The awards honor creativity and excellence in video and television storytelling.


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